OCEAN CITY – Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6) finds himself now among five powerful statewide figures as his party endures those typical manimal-like contortions ahead of the next gubernatorial race.
He easily uses terms like “co-equal branch of government” to justify – and celebrate - his legislative standing, but can’t entirely suppress an executive glint in his eye when the subject turns to governor.
Still, there’s a reason why he must suppress it.
Part of the South Jersey juggernaut that falls in behind Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), Greenwald can’t run unless Sweeney stands down. And right now there is no sign that Sweeney intends to do anything other than run as the Democratic successor to Gov. Chris Christie.Read More >
NEWARK - On the day when revelations of the Newark school district approving tens of thousands of dollars a month in spending on take-out food and catering were released, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka spoke out about his continued desire to see state-appointed Newark School Superintendent Cami Anderson leave her position as soon as possible.
"We don't have a statutory responsibility, but we have a moral one," said Baraka, referencing the fact that Newark's schools have been under state control since 1995. "Our responsibility to make sure the schools work in Newark supersedes any law that separates us from the school system.Your circulatory system works inside of a larger system. When one of those systems breaks down, you become sick, which is the same with what's happening in our city. When the school system is not functioning, the whole city becomes sick. Our job is to fix that, because at the end of day it affects economic growth, it affects workforce investment, it affects crime. We want to look at it as a part of everything."Read More >
NEWARK - Newark Mayor Ras Baraka referred to one of America's greatest civil rights heroes when asked how he would negotiate with Gov. Chris Christie for additional state aid.
"We're going to do a little Martin Luther King [Jr.] - we're going to wear him down with love," said Baraka to a crowd of about 100 people on Wednesday, while at the Newark Public Library to discuss the administration's transition team report outlining Baraka's first 100-day plan for Newark. "We're going to wear him down with that. At the end of the day, we're just trying to improve the city. There is nothing political about what we're trying to do here."Read More >
SOMERVILLE - State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) spoke out regarding the feasibility of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, days after Sweeney's main potential rival for the 2017 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, questioned whether Christie had the right temperament to be America's commander-in-chief.
"I think he's a very viable candidate for President," Sweeney told PolitickerNJ.com, minutes after he visited the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome in Somerville on Tuesday. "I work with Chris Christie closely, and he's very pragmatic."Read More >
NEWARK - An advocacy group that believes New Jersey needs a major large-scale prison release, or "decarceration," is calling on state Sen. Ron L. Rice (D-28) to introduce a bill in the Legislature meant to achieve that goal.
In a letter signed by 14 New Jersey residents, most from Essex County, and sent to Sen. Rice, the signatories point to "systemic racism" in the enforcement, prosecution and sentencing within the criminal justice system as a significant explanation of the disproportionate representation of African-Americans among the prison population. One solution to this problem is to provide a large-scale release of those incarcerated, particularly for non-violent, drug-related and other non-violent offenses that could be seen as economic “crimes of survival," according to the letter's signatories.
"We are sure you are well aware of the racial and economic disparities of mass incarceration where it is Black, Brown and impoverished who are targeted by everything from arrest, prosecution and sentencing," the letter states. "Mass incarceration devastates our family structures, our community structures and our ability to engage and struggle politically, socially and economically for better communities. For these reasons it is of utmost importance that our communities take the lead in structuring the kind of decarceration legislation that is initiated and fought for. We need to take the first step."Read More >
By Max Pizarro, Mark Bonamo, and Chase Brush
JERSEY CITY - Gov. Chris Christie doesn't have the temperament to be President of the United States; the stain of former Gov. Jon Corzine makes it hard for a self-funding Democrat to win statewide; Hillary Clinton's still his candidate for president; and when they see each other, he and Steve Sweeney actually discuss something more strenuous than barbells - all points of view packed into an hour-long interview Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop gave to PolitickerNJ this afternoon in the wood-paneled office formerly occupied by Fulop's predecessor Frank Hague.
A brace of Clydesdales just arrived to the city to help celebrate the 4th of July, the town was gearing up for festivities tomorrow, and the Gerber Baby-faced picture of Fulop on the cover of a magazine - the same one that infamously sent Sweeney into twitter bully mode - sat on a coffee table in the mayor's office where the U.S. Marine himself appeared in shirt-sleeves with one year in office now under his belt.
As they play an ongoing game of chess in search of higher office, Fulop and Sweeney have kept on each other's bad side for the most part, but the malice doesn't seep into their private encounters, the mayor insists.
"I have a friendly relationship with Steve Sweeney," Fulop said. "Whenever I see him we talk about policy stuff."Read More >
ELIZABETH - The woman at the center of a state judge nomination controversy this week fueled in part by Gov. Chris Christie spoke out to add another unexpected element into the controversy's already volatile mix: the implication that the famed Hoboken-based baker known as the "Cake Boss" played a role in her ongoing troubles.
Democrats had hoped on Monday to move forward a package of nominations in what was expected to be a pro forma Senate judiciary committee meeting. But one of the nominees for judge, former Christie administration Director of Employee Relations David Cohen, got slagged when state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) brought up a June 21 letter from a former Christie administration employee who asserted that Cohen did not adequately address her boss’s behavior towards her.
After the Democratic members of the committee moved to put off Cohen’s nomination until July 10 to give Mariella Morales, the author of the letter and the former deputy executive director of the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development, the opportunity to testify before the committee. The confirmation hearing for the other judges up for nomination was subsequently pushed forward to the same date.
Christie's response soon thereafter was to pull all of the nominations.Read More >
TRENTON - A bill that eliminates permanent alimony and revises certain standards for alimony awards was passed today by the Senate by a 30 to 2 margin.
The alimony reform bill, the same version of which was passed by the Assembly by a 75-0-4 margin on June 26, establishes durational limits and enumerates certain factors concerning modification and termination of alimony.Read More >
Don't expect to see Democratic State Party Chairman John Currie at Mayor-elect Jose "Joey" Torres' swearing-in ceremony tomorrow.
"A scheduling conflict," explained the chair, who also leads the Passaic County Democratic Party that Torres defeated in becoming mayor.Read More >
NEWARK - When it comes to Newark School Superintendent Cami Anderson's leadership of the city's public schools, the view from Newark's streets in recent weeks to some resembles the view from the deck of the Titanic.
Anderson was appointed to head the state-run Newark school district, New Jersey's largest, by Gov. Chris Christie in 2011. The governor publicly stated in September 2013 that he planned to reappoint her, and that he did not care about community criticism.
Late Friday, the Christie administration announced that it had renewed Anderson's contract for three more years, and that Anderson will receive a 1.6 percent annual increase on her base salary of $251,500. In a statement, Anderson said that she was "honored to reaffirm my commitment" to her work, a record she has publicly maintained has included improved graduation rates, the hiring of more than four dozen new principals and a teacher contact that includes salary reforms and provisions for merit pay.Read More >
In the event that state Sen. Diane Allen (R-7) doesn't run for re-election in 2017, the party has a short list of possible candidates it could field to try to head off either Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) or Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7).Read More >
Faced with violent crime wave, Baraka, Fulop and Torres forge three-city partnership JERSEY CITY – And then there were three. That’s what it looked like, at least, when a late-arriving and widely beaming Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres in cream-colored suit joined political allies Jersey City Mayor Steve...
By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... Read More >
"And here was Christie — a tell-it-like-it-is, straight-talking, no-nonsense Jersey guy — telling about 60 members of the media what he really thought. 'Governor Branstad is a role model for me,' Christie gushed, referring to his 67-year-old counterpart from Iowa."- The New York Times
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